Johnson Controls Improves Energy Efficiency, Reducing CO2 and Saving Money

by | Oct 25, 2022

Johnson Controls Arkansas Solar

(Credit: Johnson Controls)

Johnson Controls International produces fire, HVAC, and security equipment for office buildings. The Cork, Ireland-based company employs 105,000 people worldwide in 2,000 locations — in 150 countries. It is listed in the Fortune Global 500. Given its mission — 40% of CO2 emissions are attributed to buildings — it is committed to addressing climate issues. 

It aims to hit net zero by 2040. It applies to Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, which are tied to operations and what fuels it buys from others, respectively. It is thus developing products and services that contribute to low-carbon buildings and reduced emissions. In July 2021, it launched OpenBlue Net Zero Buildings as a Service, a one-stop shop for customers looking to achieve net zero. It provides remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, increasing efficiencies and reducing CO2 levels. 

In January 2021, the company set sustainability goals, including science-based targets across our operational and product-based emissions and a net zero carbon pledge for Scope 1 and 2 emissions:

  • It intends to cut Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 55% and Scope 3 emissions linked to its customers’ use of its products by 16% by 2030 using a 2017 baseline. 
  • Its Scope 1 and 2 targets are consistent with the reductions required to restrict warming to 1.5°C set by the Paris climate agreement.

“We are moving quickly to act on our sustainability commitments – even while we reduce our footprint beyond the 70 percent reduction in both greenhouse gas intensity and energy intensity that we have already achieved since 2002,” Johnson Controls says.

Why is energy efficiency so vital to Johnson Controls’ mission? 

Johnson Controls generates nearly half its revenue from products and services that cut energy use and improve customer sustainability. To that end, it has doubled customers’ emissions reductions through tools that will enhance energy efficiencies.

In January 2021, Johnson Controls’ Chief Executive George Oliver became chairman of the Business Roundtable Energy and Environment Committee. The Business Roundtable says that the world must work together to avert climate change’s worst effects and keep global temperature rises in check. 

“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the planet today,” CEO Oliver says. “The Business Roundtable believes that businesses are an essential part of the solution and calls for collective action and policies to drive innovation, significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and limit global temperature rise.”

And Johnson Controls is doing its part. From a 2017 baseline, it wants to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas intensity by 25% by 2025. It also aims to cut its water usage by 25% while ensuring that 25% of its manufacturing locations are landfill-free. 

Since January 2020, it has saved its customers 30.6 million tons of CO2-equivalents. That equates to $6.6 billion in operational and energy savings. For example, it offers industrial refrigeration and cooling equipment with the “lowest total lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions for any application.” 

Other objectives: 

  • In 2017, the company adopted a new 2025 Sustainability Strategy. This strategy drives sustainability across its value chain by focusing on five areas: solutions, people, partnerships, performance, and governance. As part of this new strategy, we are committing to new, ambitious 2025 goals related to greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water, waste, safety, and diversity from a 2017 baseline. 
  • Achieve net-zero carbon emissions before 2040, in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Race to Zero and Business Ambition for 1.5°C criteria 
  • Invest 75% of new product development R&D in climate-related innovation to develop sustainable products and services 
  • Achieve 100% renewable electricity usage globally by 2040. In 2020, it offset all of its greenhouse gas emissions from US manufacturing plants by buying renewable energy certificates. 
  • Its goal is to reduce water consumption by 10% at water-stressed facilities by 2025.

What sustainable products and services do you offer?

Other businesses want some of what Johnson Controls has. According to the 2020 study, investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and smart building technology will match the 2017 and 2018 levels this year. That is, 55% of organizations plan to increase investment in energy-efficient technologies over the next 12 months. Sustainability and cost savings are the most significant drivers.

Johnson Controls offers energy retrofits, renewable energy, and water conservation. It deploys equipment upgrades that help businesses reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It says that since January 2000, it has helped customers save energy through performance contracting, resulting in cuts of more than 30.6 million metric tons CO2 equivalents. Since 2017, its customers have saved more than 338,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents from “Performance Infrastructure” projects.

Given the urgent need to reduce CO2 emissions, businesses are demanding more renewable energy. Johnson Controls offers solar, biomass, wind, waste-to-energy, landfill gas-to-energy, geothermal, and combined heat and power. It also works with fuel cell companies. It fully expects onsite energy generation with battery storage and localized microgrids to gain ground. 

And finally, Johnson Controls has a cooling system that combines water- and air-cooling technologies to reduce water consumption by as much as 80%. It also improves energy efficiency and saves money. For example, it works with the National Energy Renewable Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratories. NREL saved 1.16 million gallons of water in its first year of operation, and 2.10 million gallons over two years, cutting water usage in the data center in half.

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